Clarke’s Bakery, Nottinghill, London

Clarkes-kensington-Church-road

Changed forever from Alan Bennett’s bohemian era, Nottinghill is terribly smart these days. Recently seen in the Guardian, this shop/café/restaurant is the very last word in patisseries, as they call them in Nottinghill. A sort of Kensington Church Street Bettys. More importantly, Lucian Freud used to come here every day for his breakfast, including the wonderful Portuguese custard tarts. Sally Clarke said…

Mr Freud started coming to the little cafe at the back of my shop about 15 years ago. I didn’t know it then, but he worked close by in a studio in Holland Park, so we were quite convenient for him. Soon after this, he bought a house a few doors along the street from us and from then on became more and more of a regular. He would come for breakfast and lunch often, bringing with him whoever he was working with at the time – Leigh Bowery, Kate Moss, David Hockney…Often, he would invite me to join him and David [David Dawson, his assistant] – I loved watching him enjoy the little Portuguese custard tarts that we make. He had a very sweet tooth.

Sally Clarke is chef patron of Clarke’s Restaurant in Notting Hill. As a pioneer for seasonality and traceability, Sally celebrated 25 successful years of Clarke’s in December 2009. Clarke’s was reviewed in the Guardian on Saturday, 25 October 2014.

Lucian Freud [1922-2011] was a portrait painter who lived a good deal of his life in seedy Paddington. His painting of the Queen had to have the canvas extended upwards to include the crown, so she was recognisable.

Shop and restaurant Clarke’s

Sally Clarke

Sally Clarke by Lucian Freud 2008

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